Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Cracks in Earthquake-prone Buildings Bill

Is the Earthquake-prone Buildings Bill, a sequel to Psychoactive Substances?

The potential dragnet of the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill is so vast, both Federated Farmers and Rural Women NZ believe it could become a sequel to the Psychoactive Substances Bill, recently amended by Parliament due to public concerns.

“There’s a rainbow coalition of submitters telling Parliament that the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill needs reworking,” says Anders Crofoot, Federated Farmers building spokesperson.

“The proposed Bill requires all councils to assess buildings and requires owners to demolish or strengthen any earthquake-prone structures within 15 years.

“To us and many submitters, the cure for earthquake-prone buildings could destroy our provincial towns in order to save them.

“While seismic strengthening in high-rise Wellington and Auckland makes sense, that urban profile isn’t Masterton or Gore. While there are earthquake risks they’re not exactly the same,” Mr Crofoot added.

Rural Women NZ was likewise concerned by the Bill’s potential effect.

“Rural Women NZ endorses Federated Farmers submission,” says Noeline Holt, its Executive Director.

“Our provincial centres cannot match the massive square metre rents found in Newmarket or on Lambton Quay yet the seismic cost is the same.

“From looking at the submissions, we hope the Select Committee will recommend the Bill be amended to consider its real economic and social implications, as well as focussing on those things that’ll make a real impact on safety,” Ms Holt said

Federated Farmers agrees with Local Government New Zealand’s submission and wants the Bill to prioritise those communities at the greatest risk.

“Many of the safety objectives can be achieved by targeting buildings and building parts most likely to fail in earthquake prone areas. Even then, low rise buildings, so typical in our provincial towns do not seem to suffer from catastrophic failure,” Mr Crofoot continued.

“In other parts of the country, a focus on parapets, verandas and removing at risk items could greatly boost safety at the least social and financial cost.

“It is not as if rural and provincial New Zealand has not experienced earthquakes. Where I farm, Castlepoint, in Wararapa, we had a 6.2 quake only in 20 January but the damage related mostly to wine.

“Need I mention the Seddon, Darfield, Gisborne or Edgecumbe quakes? If the Bill proceeds unchanged we could see thriving towns turned into ghost towns.
“If the costs far exceed any sensible return building owners may board up or demolish. While that aids freedom squatters and clandestine labs it will not benefit those of us who live there.

“It is hard to disagree with the Property Council of New Zealand, which believes the Bill could work, but only if earthquake strengthening is made tax deductible, qualifying for depreciation.

“Seismic work does not add a cent to the value of a building, it only returns the building to the value it once had,” Mr Crofoot concluded.

Federated Farmers submission can be read here.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Greens Proposal To Gradually Lift The Minimum Wage

Heading into the election home stretch, voters have a clear choice about the best way to help low and middle income New Zealanders. They can do so by gradually lifting the minimum wage (as the Greens propose) or by a small tax cut, as the government seems about to announce.

The minimum wage boost – by 75 cents an hour to $15 in December, and then by gradual annual increments to $18 an hour by 2017 – that the Greens are talking about is just one part of a packet of employment measures that would include scrapping youth rates and the 90 day trial period, introducing a redundancy package of four weeks, offsetting any abatement effect of the policy package for those receiving Working For Families, and finally… ditching the exception made by the government (during the Hobbit negotiations) for workers in the screen industry, which denies them normal workplace safeguards and entitlements. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

2014 General Election: Voting Period Begins

The first votes for the 2014 general election will be cast today, Wednesday 3 September, as advance voting begins ahead of election day on Saturday 20 September. More>>

ALSO:

Two Dead, One Injured: Suspect Charged After Ashburton Shooting

Russell John Tully has appeared in Christchurch District Court. Tully has been remanded in custody on charges of murder of Peg Noble and Leigh Cleveland and attempted murder of Lindy Curtis. More>>

ALSO:

John Key Press Conference: Ashburton Shootings, Judith Collins Inquiry

Prime Minister John Key has delayed the release of Nationals’ fiscal policy in light of this morning’s shooting at a Work and Income office in Ashburton... Key also answered questions about Judith Collins, and confirmed that independent inquiry will be held with regard to allegations made against Collins. More>>

ALSO:

Internet MANA: Georgina Beyer Rocks The Waka

“There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority of MANA members and supporters around the country” states MANA Candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. More>>

ALSO:

IGIS Update: Inquiry Into Release Of NZSIS Information

The Inquiry would be conducted in private and individuals would appear before her separately over a period of more than a week. She does not intend to name those summoned to give evidence until her report is published. “I can confirm that all persons summoned will be required to appear under oath...” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On John Key’s ‘Blame It On Judith’ Strategy

Right now, Prime Minister John Key seems intent on limiting the scope of any inquiry into his government’s dealings with Cameron Slater. The declared aim is to make that inquiry solely about Judith Collins’ behavior with respect to the Serious Fraud Office. More>>

ALSO:

Maori Council Lawyers' Statement: Supreme Court Decision On Maori Water Rights

“…the Supreme Court refused to give Pouakani people what they asked for, but may have given them something much, much better instead… the Supreme Court has questioned whether the Crown owns the River at all.” More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Debate, And The Collins Accusation

Debating is a peculiar discipline in that what you say is less important than how you’re saying it. Looking poised, being articulate and staying on topic generally wins the day – and on that score, Labour leader David Cunliffe won what turned out to be a bruising encounter with Prime Minister John Key last night on TVNZ. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news